Though the King Charles Inn was erected in 1958, the property sits on land that’s held hotels since the early 1800s. In fact, the original inn—the Pavilion Hotel—is said to have hosted Edgar Allan Poe when he was stationed on Sullivan’s Island. Boasting an outdoor pool, helpful concierge, and free onsite parking (super rare for the historic district), the hotel is a smart bet for travelers wanting an old-school vibe and grade-A location (it’s just a block from King Street and two blocks north of the City Market).
YOU SHOULD KNOW Rooms’ furnishings and color palette—mustard yellow, brown, and gray—are somewhat dated. However, a renovation to modernize suites in both function and décor is on the horizon.
While small in size, guest rooms hold all the makings for a comfortable stay, including armchairs for lounging, a desk area, iPhone dock, and floor-to-ceiling blackout drapes.
For extra square footage and a private balcony, book a King Deluxe room.
Granite countertops and Gilchrist & Soames soaps dress up bathrooms. The shower-tub combination holds both a showerhead and handheld sprayer.
Friendly receptionists greet you in the tight ground-level foyer. From there, head up a short staircase to the lobby, where you’ll find a fireplace and contemporary lounge.
Take a tipple out to the petite pool deck—a popular spot that pipes in music and has a lively crowd during summer months.
In the lobby, complimentary coffee and tea are set out at 8 a.m. Standard breakfast goodies—from pancakes and waffles to eggs, oatmeal, and fresh pastries—are sold in the onsite BREW Pub & Café restaurant, open each morning from 6:30-10:30. The handsome space, which is filled with antique mirrors and a marble bar, overlooks the pool and is rife with natural light.
Join fellow travelers for $5 glasses of wine and gratis cheese and fruit daily from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Otherwise, order a Pimm’s Cup 10 (or other craft cocktails, wine, or beer) from the onsite BREW Pub & Café.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Other than breakfast and the cheese and fixins' served during the wine reception, this hotel doesn't offer food.
You’ve hit the jackpot: King Charles Inn has an onsite parking lot. That they let you park in. For free. (Really, though, that’s almost unheard of in downtown Charleston). So come and go as you please, but get ready to do a fair bit of strolling since the historic district, King Street shopping scene, and the city’s hottest restaurants are all within walking distance. Other options? Hail a pedicab or ride-share, or hop aboard the complimentary DASH trolley.
For your fancy meal, make a reservation at FIG (1-minute walk), which is directly diagonal from the hotel. Enjoy a scrumptious Southern lunch at Cru Café (5-minute walk), or oysters and a lobster roll from 167 Raw (6-minute walk).
Walk to Upper King for an al fresco tipple at Stars (17-minute walk) or a Moscow Mule from The Rarebit’s (16-minute walk) cozy bar. Want to get rowdy? Head to Mynt (8-minute walk) or Trio Club (8-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
While it may not have the luxe aesthetics of newer boutique hotels in town, this locally run property delivers noteworthy amenities—a pool and parking lot—along with comfortable, quiet rooms, and hospitable service. Plus, its location is tops.